Roadway Improvements to Mitigate Rising Water Levels

Serving a surrounding community of more than 13,000 residents, ND Highway 20 serves as a crucial link across Devils Lake in northeastern North Dakota. Highway 20 begins near Jamestown, ND and stretches more than 115 miles north to the Canadian border, passing through Devils Lake, ND. Highway 20 also serves the Spirit Lake Nation as one of the main arterial routes through the reservation toward Devils Lake and Camp Grafton, a major training center for the Army National Guard.

Devils Lake is known for rising floodwaters due the natural outflow being high above the existing infrastructure. During high water levels the stretch of highway became nearly impassable and during high wind large amounts of debris would be deposited across the roadway.

North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) along with United States Army Corps of Engineers, North Dakota National Guard, Central Federal Lands Highway Division, Spirit Lake Nation and City of Devils Lake determined a need for roadway improvements to compensate for the flooding levels and its effect on traffic within the surrounding communities. As a result, approximately 6,000 feet of Highway 20 was designed so an earthen levee, designed to Army Corps standards, was part of the roadway embankment.

KLJ was hired to conduct a Project Concept Report (PCR), which analyzed preliminary alignment and profile alternatives, special drainage considerations, right-of-way impacts and slope protection needs. KLJ completed all preliminary topographic survey including the use of sonar technology to provide a ground profile under water as well as the final design of the roadway and levee. Additionally, KLJ was selected for construction administration and project observation.

The project resulted in more than 6,000 feet of flood protection and allows a safe passage for those utilizing the roadway.